Friday, June 21, 2013

NIH Takes Important Steps for LGBT Health

Article by Dr. Scout, Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
At The Fenway Institute, reposted at,

A year ago I wrote a HuffPost blog post decrying the apparent stall in LGBT research integration at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Now I'm happy to say NIH is moving forward with good speed on this topic.

Why is NIH integration of LGBT health research important? Because health research is the only way we'll find answers to the persistent health disparities we see across the LGBT population. Why do we smoke cigarettes at rates that are 68-percent higher than the general population? Can we do anything to protect against the spike in mental health problems after negative legislation is passed in our states? How can transgender people be assured of welcoming health care? What can be done about the high level of social isolation that LGBT elders report? And what can be done about the horrific LGBT youth suicide rates? If data tells the story of our lives, then research is the first step in writing happier endings.

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine released a historic report, "The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People." In it they reviewed the scientific evidence, identified research gaps, and outlined steps to assist NIH in enhancing its efforts in this area. One of the positive steps NIH has since taken in the last year is to finally release a response to this report... Read the rest here:

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